I’ve arrived in Stockholm and had a few hours of leisure time before my fully packed agenda started. When from going moose (souvenir) hunting (since my Lieblingsmensch, like most Germans, for some reason is crazy about Mooses) I screened the shelves of the big galleries, like NK and Åhléns, where I found the most beautiful Christmas decorations (I could have bought them all!), but no mooses.
Swedish design is definitely different from any other countries. It very often minimalistic and clean, with simple lines, which is very beautiful and stylish and I do have quite a few pieces at home, however mixed with some lace and other softer lines, elements and colours (Belgian/continental style), in order for it to not be too cold and impersonal.
In any case. I learnt a lot about Christmas trees during my little expedition.
Did you know that Denmark has the best circumstances for planting Christmas trees? The windy conditions, together with a sandy soil and mild temperatures are apparently ideal and they export 10 million trees per year, mainly to Germany, Norway and The Netherlands (and cut another two for domestic use).
It takes 12 years from seed to harvest, which in comparison to the wood industry, where they can profit from the sales of trees only 75-100 years later, isn’t too long, but still. Imagine having to wait for 12 years before you can make your first profit. The Christmas trees are cut under an intensive three week period where they work in shifts.
When thinking about it, isn’t it quite a waste to cut so many trees, that are used indoors for a few weeks and then thrown out?
And how did the tradition of Christmas trees start then? Well, in the 16th century the Scandinavians were inspired by the Germans, who brought fir trees in and decorated them with apples, candy and paper roses. Now Christmas trees and everything that comes with the decoration of them, are of course a totally different story and big industry.
What about our Christmas tree? It’s currently being imported from Germany. A traditional German 180 centimetre, hopefully high quality Christmas tree. In plastic! More sustainable and also practical, since we’re both travelling a lot. And in a true European spirit, it will be decorated with baubles, glitter and lights bought a little bit everywhere. Berlin, Stockholm, Brussels and so on.
Tomorrow it’s time to head to Västerås for the Liberal Party Congress. In one year it’s elections in Sweden!